Thermal imaging method for estimating oxygen saturation

Michal Tepper*, Rotem Neeman, Yonat Milstein, Moshe Ben David, Israel Gannot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study is to develop a minimal invasive thermal imaging method to determine the oxygenation level of an internal tissue. In this method, the tissue is illuminated using an optical fiber by several wavelengths in the visible and near-IR range. Each wavelength is absorbed by the tissue and thus causes increase in its temperature. The temperature increase is observed by a coherent waveguide bundle in the mid-IR range. The thermal imaging of the tissue is done using a thermal camera through the coherent bundle. Analyzing the temperature rise allows estimating the tissue composition in general, and specifically the oxygenation level. Such a system enables imaging of the temperature within body cavities through a commercial endoscope. As an intermediate stage, the method is applied and tested on exposed skin tissue. A curve-fitting algorithm is used to find the most suitable saturation value affecting the temperature function. The algorithm is tested on a theoretical tissue model with various parameters, implemented for this study, and on agar phantom models. The calculated saturation values are in agreement with the real saturation values.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054048
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Coherent bundle
  • Curve fitting
  • Hemoglobin
  • Melanin
  • Photothermal spectroscopy
  • Skin oxygen saturation
  • Thermal imaging
  • Tissue oxygenation


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